Apart from the standard conjugated forms, pertaining to a, ā, o and e-ending verbal bases, a few verbs adopt some irregular forms in the Past Tense. Let us study some of these commonly occurring forms with the help of verbal base karo.

Please note that these forms of the verbal base karo are in addition to the regular forms applicable to o-ending verbal bases.

Conjugation of verbal base ‘karo

Singular Plural
Third Person akāsi akaṃsu
Second Person akāsi akattha
First Person akāsiṃ akamha, akamhā

Some other roots / verbal bases take up conjugated forms similar to some or all the above forms in the Past Tense.

E.g. :
ṭhā (tiṭṭhati) : aṭṭhāsi (he / she stood)
(dadāti) : adāsi (gave)
[(pa)jahati] : pahāsi (gave up, abandoned)
ñā (jānāti) : aññāsi (knew)
gam (gacchati) : agamāsi (went)

Some other irregular forms taken up by some verbs in the Past Tense are :
viharativihāsi (lived, dwelt)
pavisatipāvisi (entered)
uppajjatiudapādi (arose, was born)
suṇātiassosi (heard, listened)

Please Note :
* All the above Past Tense forms pertain to third person singular subject (he / she / it).
* The verb suṇāti assumes many different conjugated forms in the Past Tense, with respect to different persons and numbers.

We come across many more irregular forms of verbs in the Past Tense. It is quite difficult to enumerate all these forms. A dictionary helps quite often, where such irregular forms are mentioned under any verb / root. However, most often one needs to use their understanding of the language to decode such conjugated forms of a verb and arrive at its translation, while reading the Suttas.

One more point to remember in this regard is that – consecutive words frequently form a sandhi in Pali (combination of two or more consecutive words) and there can be some further sound changes in the word, on this account.

We will try to look at more and more of such verb forms / words and understand them, as we move along the course.

Last modified: Monday, 11 September 2023, 9:50 AM